Which Comes First -- Strategy or Technology?

strategy or technology

When we begin working with a prospective client, one of the first questions that comes up is “Which CMS should we use?” Sometimes the organization has a specific need to focus on a specific technology, but the more common issue is that many agencies lead with a platform, which then forces clients to use that as a distinguishing factor in their selection process.

TECHNOLOGY BEFORE STRATEGY

If an agency kicks off a pitch by claiming that a specific content management system (CMS) will solve all your problems, you have reason to be skeptical. How can they make this claim if they don’t know what your business objectives, project goals, and expected results are? At Ascedia, we have recognized that every business faces obstacles that keep them from reaching their goals -- and oftentimes these are similar across companies -- but our goal is to find the right solution that meets your specific needs. 

Have you and your agency discussed:

  • Budget -- There are a wide variety of tools at a wide array of price points, from free, open source solutions to six-figure CMS options. By being upfront about your budget, you ensure that an agency can find a workable technology solution.
  • Platform dependencies -- What other solutions does your organization use and what platforms are in place?
  • Integration -- Are there other systems (ERP, CRM, PIM, etc.) that your website can and should interact with?
  • Workflows -- Outline the other teams that are involved in creating and reviewing content, handling leads, or contacting potential hires.
  • Key marketing strategies -- If your company uses e-mail marketing, personalization, or marketing automation -- or wants to! -- you’ll need a solution that supports these processes, and a website that is designed to bring users through a specific journey. We also want to make sure that the chosen technology -- like HubSpot, Marketo, or Unbounce -- can handle your requirements “out of the box,” as custom development will make your website more challenging to manage from an administrative standpoint.

If you’re working with an agency who has recommended a CMS without discussing any of these things with you, you may find that your new solution doesn’t actually SOLVE any of your business issues. Sure, you have a new website, but will it get the results you’re looking for?

STRATEGY BEFORE TECHNOLOGY

Strategic planning involves getting to the root of your business issues. We go through specific exercises that help us determine how your website can help you not only achieve your business goals but alleviate pain points and challenges. These exercises cover all areas of the business -- it’s not just about marketing. We seek to understand what types of tools your company uses to uncover opportunities for automation and integration. We want to know which teams are involved in creating content so that we can streamline your authorship and review processes. We want to know your overall company goals, whether revenue, lead generation, or customer acquisition-focused, so that we can build a site that helps you exceed them.

Once we understand what you need, we review the available technologies to find the one that supports our plan. It’s important to consider all available technology, including solutions you haven’t heard of yet. Today’s corporate website goes beyond a “brochure” site with text, pictures, and a number to call -- and choosing the right technology can help you achieve more with your website. When we start working with our clients, the business challenges they’re facing (and the issues they have with their websites) aren’t tied to technology. Instead, they’re looking to increase lead generation, get their message in front of the right audience, create a functional website that helps visitors find valuable information, or to make actual sales.

At Ascedia, we believe in solving our clients’ problems through strategy, and that means leaving technology off the table until we understand your needs and determine the best way to achieve your goals. To get to the bottom of your biggest business challenges, contact our team to set up a strategic planning session.